Why Hiring an Inbound Agency Isn't A Silver Bullet6 min read
I was speaking a potential client the other day and helping them understand what an agency can do and what an agency can't-do.
Just because you hire an agency, it doesn't mean you have a silver bullet.
What an Inbound Agency Can Do
1. Identify Holes In Your Marketing Stragety.
An inbound team will identify holes in your marketing strategy. Nobody has a perfect marketing strategy at the start.
When you bring in an outside agency to look at your marketing, they're bound to notice a few areas you can improveme. Don't take this personally—they only want to help you improve and get more leads!
They will also question your buyer personas.
Most of the people we talk to have buyer personas created. They may or may not have them written down, but either way, they are sure they know who to they need to reach.
While it's certainly true that you know your business better than outside agency, the harsh reality is that you are stuck in the weeds. You get stuck and can't see what needs to change or be improved on.
Every time we complete a strategy (we call it the Roadmap) we help our clients discover new perspective about their buyers. We have clients add new personas and completely walk away from others.
2. Leverage Your Website as a Sales Tool.
Let’s face it. In an increasingly crowded digital space you need to stand out from your competitors. An inbound agency can help you do that by creating an inbound website for you.
It's more than just a new design. A new website site can mean absolutely nothing if it is not optimized to convert potential customers into sales.
If you do a little research, it’s true you can find a company that is willing to build you a functional website on the cheap. However, over time that money spent will be inflated by the cost of SEO, content creation, offer creation, data analytics, lead segmentation and maintenance that you will need.
Be sure to look for an inbound marketing agency that focuses on great design with optimization for the conversion process. The methodology is baked into every aspect of the website, and this means you are getting a salesperson that never stops working on your behalf. Even the most talented website designer has no responsibility regarding creating marketing and revenue through the buyer’s journey.
3. There are Considerable Financial Benefits.
There is the obvious cost benefit of hiring an agency. Your own team of marketing personnel comes with big salaries, benefits, and incentives to keep these employees loyal. Rather than taking on such costs, you can hire an inbound marketing agency.
The agency will already have your team in place. This translates to reduced costs for you, without negatively affecting the outcome of the campaign, marketing plan, or business goals.
Plus, the added financial bonus is that companies that employ an inbound marketing strategy see an almost 200% increase in ROI.
This is because an inbound marketing strategy puts the focus on more qualified prospects, not just a boost in generic website traffic.
While it is true that direct mail or print ads or trade shows may offer the greatest volume of potential leads, inbound marketing focuses more on finding your target market, and appealing to them through remarkable content by delivering that message in the right place, at the right time.
4. The Efficiency Advantage
A successful inbound marketing agency has developed a reliable and proven process for creating and implementing inbound strategies and measuring marketing ROI. Ultimately, this saves business owners from the drawn-out effort of investing blind trust into hiring and developing a potential team.
Since some form of training is included as a part of most inbound marketing retainer programs, many businesses save even more on their path to achieving their goals.
One of the major benefits of choosing an agency over a full-time employee is the fact that an entire team will work on your strategy to ensure your goals are met. Each agency team member brings different skills to the table. It is also possible that the agency has experience with marketing in your industry and promoting brands similar to yours.
By allowing the agency to handle the load for your sales strategy, you can focus on product or service development and delighting the clients already on your roster.
What an Agency Can't Do
1. Organize Your Business
Marketing agencies aren't involved with everything in your business. It's not their job to organize your processes, products, services, or sales teams. You need to make sure your business is running smoothly before you engage with an agency.
2. Get You Sales Today
Although it's true that inbound marketing is a great way to attract, engage, close and delight customers. That process doesn't happen overnight. In fact, it typically takes 6-12 months for your efforts to start to bring in sales. Depending on your sales cycle, it can even take longer.
What? Why? It takes time to build an audience of engaged prospects on your site. You know what they say about an overnight success. It takes ten years of hard work!
3. Tell You What To Do
It's pretty common for people to hire experts and then decide not to go with their ideas. We all think we know best and know our business more. Although, you do know more about your business than the agency, you don't know more about marketing. That's why you wanted help in the first place. You're paying good money to work with the agency. Don't take ideas for granted.
So, are you ready work with an agency? Not sure? These are some signs it's time.
1. You're running out of hours in the day.
Look, we’ve all only got 24 hours in the day, and we sure hope you don’t spend every waking second working. It’s totally OK to realize that one person or one team just can’t squeeze in all the marketing campaigns you want to try.
As you start implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you’ll come to realize that inbound marketing is a full-time job — and an agency can save you tons of hours.
2. Your content marketing is inconsistent.
The only thing worse than no content marketing is irregular content marketing. Consistently blogging, keeping up with social media, and offering new premium content frequently is highly necessary for inbound success. It helps search engine optimization. It keeps your contacts engaged. It brings in new leads.
But it takes a lot of time, and if you don’t have staff who can dedicate a good chunk of time to content marketing each day, the results will fall flat.
3. Your metrics are like a roller coaster. They are up and then down and you don't know why.
When you look at the data, you’re seeing some low number — and it’s not like you’re playing a round of golf. All companies will have slumps. The key is understanding why those slumps happen and how to rise again.
This is also a perfect point to bring in an agency.
With fresh eyes and limited background knowledge on your previous marketing strategy, an inbound marketing agency can offer a new, honest perspective with smart ideas for moving forward.
No one knows your business better than you do, and if an agency is going to create quality content that educates your potential customers, your input is essential.
By choosing an inbound marketing agency, your business can reap a host of benefits not found with traditional in-house employees. Their broader range of creative talent and experience will ensure that your company reaches its goals through the use of tactics that match your specific needs.